- Main features of a condenser microphone
- Why choose a condenser mic?
- Pros and cons of a condenser microphone
auna condenser microphones - affordable quality for your studio recordings
If you're looking for a studio microphone to make high-quality recordings, you've probably already heard that condenser microphones are the way to go. Condenser microphones offer superior performance compared to dynamic or ribbon microphones. With its increased sensitivity and improved frequency response, a condenser microphone can pick up all kinds of noise, allowing you to record vocals and musical instruments optimally, thus adding a professional touch to the audio in all your multimedia projects.
auna condenser microphones are made of durable materials and mount high-quality internal components to ensure optimum recording performance, with an unbeatable price-performance ratio and a focus on aesthetics. Plus, most auna condenser microphones are perfect for digital musical production, thanks to their USB output, allowing direct connection to your PC. Still, if you prefer to work in analogue mode you can opt for a professional condenser mic with a standard XLR output, commonly used in audio to connect to a mixing desk. Quality professional microphones for your studio needs have never been so affordable: take a look at our product galler microphone showcase and find the perfect condenser microphone to kick-start your music productions.
Main features of a condenser microphone
A condenser microphone is characterised by its multi-directionality, meaning it can be adjusted to pick up sound in unidirectional, bidirectional and omnidirectional modes. It also typically features a switch to choose the optimal attenuation parameter - usually -10 dB - to ensure that the incoming signal is not distorted, due to the device’s high sensitivity.
From a constructional point of view, a difference exists between a wide-diaphragm (around 26 cm in diameter) or narrow-diaphragm (about 12-15 mm) condenser microphone. The diaphragm size influences the microphone’s directivity; wide-diaphragm microphones provide better directionality at high frequencies and a better signal-to-noise ratio. The variable directivity of diaphragm mics contributes to a full-bodied, harmonic sound, which is especially useful when working with vocal tracks. If you prefer a more natural sound, you can opt for a narrow-diaphragm model.
To work, the condenser microphone needs 48v phantom power, usually provided by the sound card or mixer to which it is connected. DIY methods often used to power the microphone with DC power can cause equipment failure, and for this reason, we strongly recommend to get a good console with a phantom power circuit to avoid putting your device at risk.<(p>
Considering that a condenser microphone is particularly sensitive, it should be firmly attached and protected from accidental vibrations that would be picked up along with the primary signal, causing the so-called low-frequency rumble or structure-borne noise. It’s essential to place the condenser microphone in the shock mount - also known as ‘spider’ - to be mounted on top of the stand, protect it from accidental vibrations and avoid compromising the quality of your recording.
Please note that when you purchase an auna condenser microphone, the shock mount is already included, together with the stand adapter. To ensure optimal results, however, you should avoid hitting the base or the boom. Otherwise, these sounds will be picked up by the microphone capsule and spoil your recording.
Why choose a condenser mic?
When you're working on a project that requires high definition audio, such as making a video for YouTube or some other studio project, using a professional microphone is essential. There are different microphones for specific purposes, but the best mic for vocals and to capture sounds clearly with no quality loss is undoubtedly a condenser microphone. Condenser microphones work best on instruments that produce high-frequency sounds, such as:
- acoustic guitar
However, the typical image we associate to studio microphones is probably that of a young pop star recording his debut album, inside the recording booth, with headphones, singing through an antipop filter. Condenser microphones are the first choice to record vocals, as their construction and operation characteristics ensure a wide frequency response and capture all the nuances of the voice. Still, condenser microphones work well with a wide range of instruments, and they are one of the most important elements when setting up your home recording studio.
However, there are two main 'families' of condenser microphones: large-diaphragm and small-diaphragm. To help you choose the best model for your intended use, we created the following table to summarise their respective features.
|small-diaphragm condenser microphone||large-diaphragm condenser microphone|
|Better directivity: dynamic microphones usually offer a more directional pattern (cardioid or hypercardioid), but this does not mean that condenser microphones do not, although small-diaphragm patterns are more common in dynamic microphones||Better low-frequency response: a large diaphragm has the advantage of offering a wider input, to pick up more energy on low frequencies|
|Suitable for P.A. systems: the smaller, the easier to handle||More sensitive, due to its design and manufacturing|
|Less phase feedback: as directivity is more concentrated in one point, it's more effecive at avoiding "phase clutter" and frequency overlap.||Internal noise is reduced|
|Reduced handing noise: this term is used for the noise produced when handling a microphone. Usually a singer wants or needs to move his microphone and this noise can be annoying for the speakers, so microphones with small diaphragms gain a point in this respect by being less sensitive||Greater proximity effect: this aspect complements the first and second points; being more sensitive, they are particularly accurate in the low frequencies|
|More suitable for instruments: however, this is a moot point and will depend on the arrangement of the microphones at the time or on the choices of the sound engineer||Particularly suitable for vocals, but thanks to low-frequency enhancement, also recommended for instruments such as electric bass, cello or double bass. The harmonic richness provided by wide-diaphragm condenser microphones makes them the perfect choice as a studio microphone for vocal or instrumental recordings|
Pros and cons of a condenser microphone
Because of the clarity they guarantee when recording sounds, condenser microphones are in great demand as studio recording microphones and are widely used by most film dubbing and music recording studios that produce audiovisual content. The advantages are undeniable, as thanks to their high sound pick-up capacity and absolute clarity in recordings, condenser microphones help you achieve a considerable leap in quality at an auditory level in your projects or productions.
On the other hand, don’t forget that a condenser mic, thanks to its high sensitivity, can pick up all sounds, even when barely audible. If your fan is on, or the neighbours are playing loud music, you’ll probably hear some of these sounds in your recording. For this reason, it is a good idea to make sure you acoustically isolate the room where you are going to record, to avoid the annoying presence of background noise. Another aspect to consider is that condenser microphones require phantom power to operate, making it necessary to use a console or a soundcard. If you don’t have one, we recommend you to choose one of our USB condenser microphones; in this case, the computer USB port will provide the microphone with the power it needs to work.
Find your condenser mic on auna
Condenser microphones are aimed at a more demanding group of users, and, therefore, cost more than a dynamic microphone. Several factors affect the price, starting with the brand, the availability of configurations and the accessories. IAre you building your studio from scratches? Have a look at our microphone sets, a a smart solution including stands, support arms and anti-pop filters in the package. In some cases, you might think that overpriced condenser microphones are the best; that’s why we invite you to discover our offers available in the auna shop, where you can find vocal recording microphones of excellent quality, allowing you to take the first steps into the amazing world of home recording on the right foot and get top-notch results at a very affordable price.